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China heads to the Bahamas to build massive US$3.4 billion resort
Luxury hotels, an eco water park, a Jack Nicklaus golf course ... China's investment in the Caribbean is a whopper
China is funding a US$3.4 billion gaming and entertainment resort in the Bahamas that's being billed as the largest of its kind in the Caribbean.
The 1,000-acre Baha Mar resort is slated to open in late 2014.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held in Nassau, Bahamas, on February 21, and was attended by ministers of the Bahamas and presidents of Chinese enterprises that are funding and helping to build it.
The showpiece of the project will be a 100,000-square-foot casino, which will be the Caribbean's largest, its developers claim.
The resort will also include a 50,000-square-foot retail strip, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature championship golf course and a 200,000-square-foot convention center.
A 20-acre water park and three spas are being planned on the Bahamian Riviera, along 3,000 feet of pristine beach.
A cluster of hotels run by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Morgans Hotel Group, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and an unnamed casino hotel promises to create 2,250 new rooms.
The BBC reported that the Export-Import Bank of China will help fund the Baha Mar project, and that the China State Construction Engineering Company will build it. It will be the largest estate to be built by Chinese companies outside China, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Developers say that the Baha Mar resort is expected to create 12,000 new jobs in the Bahamas and contribute to a 10 percent spike in the Bahamian gross domestic product.
Tourism currently accounts for 60 percent of the country's GDP.